On Monday, the Old Man turned nineteen. Because no one should ever work on their birthday, I planned a light day with lots of grazing. And photography, because annual birthday selfies are tradition.
I pulled him from his pasture, shoved some carrots in his face, and gave him a thorough grooming with our clean, clean brushes. Then I tossed his new half-pad (his technical birthday gift) on his back, put my helmet on, and mounted. It helped that Archie was already leaned down with his face in the grass, because my flexibility has diminished as my muscles have grown. We spent about ten minutes roaming the large pasture, letting him munch wherever and getting scarily close to the hotwire. I asked for one itty-bitty taboo canter and got about three strides before I asked him stop.
|..when the head disappears below you..|
After our little meander, I set up the tripod and finished preparing his birthday beer and beet pulp. Archie normally gets beer in the summer, but I like to give him something special on his birthday. I went for Angry Orchard this year, thinking that I've never given him a cider before (Hefeweizen and Fosters, as far as I can remember). Of course, you shouldn't drink alone, so I popped one, too.
Once the beet pulp was finished, I dragged him and the tripod across the street to the access point for our main trail. It was cleared last year and some of the grass has now grown taller than me. I always let him pack a snack, but this was going to be a free-for-all.